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SNES Star Fox now runs at a silky 60 fps thanks to a new hack




Demo of the 60fps hacked version of fox star It was released this week (although this demo is not much higher than 30fps, as noted in the lower left corner).

If you were a Nintendo kid in the ’90s, you would have probably been amazed at how fox star Its SuperFX chip could render full 3D worlds on the 1993-era SNES hardware. If you go back to playing the game today, you’ll likely be frustrated with the game’s choppy frame rate, which is maxed out at 20fps.

Enter long time fox star ROM hack kandontoresponsible for full features Star Fox Exploration Show penetration. This week, kando released a patch that unlocks 30 or even 60 frames per second in simulation fox star (or Star Fox 2M) ROM. The result is a very smooth experience that will likely come close to matching the pink-tinged memories you had in the early ’90s fox star More than the original game could.

design problem

acceleration attempts fox star It’s nothing new in the hacking and simulation communities. For years, gamers have overclocked SuperFX chips or run emulators at higher speeds to try to raise the game’s frame rate.

The SuperFX chip is just one of many cartridge processors that the SNES emulator has to handle properly.
Zoom / The SuperFX chip is just one of many cartridge processors that the SNES emulator has to handle properly.

But while these methods make fox star It runs faster (and smoother), and it also speeds up the game’s internal logic to the same degree. This means that enemy ships and your Arwing are flying much faster than Nintendo intends, an effect that also causes the game’s excellent music to not sync up with the automatic scrolling action on the screen. Tripling the game’s speed to reach a 60fps experience makes it incredibly fast, by all accounts.

The design and limitations of the original SuperFX chip make this problem difficult to solve. in a game like fox starIn fact, a SuperFX chip can take two full frame cycles to transfer its 3D images to the system’s video RAM (even though only 75 percent of the available screen space is used). Add the computation time for game logic, enemy movement, etc., and the game renders a new frame at a third of the SNES’ 60 fps rate.


“SuperFX games are a bit of a special case,” the author of Nearby Emulator (aka byuu) told Ars in 2019 while discussing an overclocking update of the precision-focused bsnes emulator. “Since they tend not to run at 60 frames per second due to the requirements of software that rasterizes entire screens on SNES, the game logic is built around frame rates. So even if you speed up fox starIt will show that the game engine is running really fast now.”

slow down

To get around this issue, a kando hack first reprogrammed the game to run three frames worth of instructions (as measured in IRQ procedures) in a one frame cycle space (or two game cycles for 30 frames per second mode). But to prevent the gameplay itself from accelerating, kando programmed its version to only recompute game logic (or “layers”) every third frame (or every other frame for a 30fps mode). “This slows the game down to its original pace,” Kando writes.

Unfortunately, Kando notes that this is a hacked version of the game Still need help from overclocked SNES CPU And therefore , WILL NOT WORK ON STOCK SNES DEVICES. Even in emulators that are configured to run in overclocked mode, kando Warn that, in 60fps mode, “when there are few objects on the screen, the frame rate per second becomes very variable between 30-60fps (it also seems to have some issues with music speed when playing 60fps). ).

Star Fox 2 It looks smoother than ever

No matter the limitations, it’s great to live again fox starThe action-packed gameplay without the nauseating frame rates inherent in 3D graphics of the early ’90s (or the nauseating game speeds of earlier frame rate hacks). We’ll be running it this weekend along with the improved SA-1 lag-free version Step 3 Trying to recover the best version of our childhood.


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